The Lust of a Mantle...

There has been a lot of talk in blog world about Mantle's lately, fireplace Mantle's. Oh how I Lust a real Mantle...cause lets be honest, how many 850 sq. ft. condos have a real mantle?....

I doubt many.

So, the closest I get is a deep window seal.

The problem with that is I can lean pictures, etc. cause I have to be able to

close the blinds at night.

So, here is my before picture.

I know...who would want to do dished looking at that?

Am I wrong?

Pretty boring I think.


I decided to add a little touch of spring.

What do you think?

I need to still find a bright frame for this, but I love the poem inside the frame.

I got this poem from a friend. Every time I went to her house for the last 4 years I thought to

myself....I need to write that down.

Finally after a long time of looking I took some action.

If you can't read the poem in the picture, this is what it says..

Dirty Dishes

Thank Heaven for Dirty Dishes

They have a tale to tell,

While other folks go hungry,

We are eating very well.

With home and health and


We shouldn't want to fuss,

By this stack of evidence

God's very good to us.


Birthday Organization

I made this for my Grandma a year ago for Christmas. She has a large family and I figured she could use a way to organize everyone's Birthdays and display them in her office at the same time.

If I could go back and do it again I would use Vinyl lettering.

Another idea would be to make it magnetic and have the names be on their own individual magnets.


Homemade Samoa Bars

I made these Cookies a while back. I changed the recipe a little from the recipe on Baking Bites....one of my favorite Baking Blogs.

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
5 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching.

Transfer all chocolate into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 30 bar cookies.


Quick Update, All the Difference

I have been wanting to try this for a while.

Have you painted Metal.

It sounded so intimidating to me, but ended up being so simple.

I used Rustoleum Metal Spray Paint (Found at Lowe's for $4-5).

Spent about an hour putting on a couple of hours and


What do you think?

Would this be something that you would try?

Next up for the Rustoleum?!?!

....Door knobs.

I will let you know if it works.

I am linking up with The Sabby Chic Cottage


Menu Planning Monday

Monday- Pancakes

Tuesday- Sweet N Sour Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

Wednesday- Lasagna, Salad and Garlic Bread

Thursday- French Dip Sandwiches and Salad

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Saturday- Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

Sunday-Grilled Honey Soy Salmon, Individual Scalloped Potatoes, and Salad

Grilled Salmon in Honey Soy Marinade
1 TBS. brown sugar, packed
1 TBS. butter, melted
1 TBS. olive oil
1 TBS. honey
1 TBS. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic, minced
3-4 salmon fillets

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except salmon. In a shallow dish, place the salmon and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than one hour.

Heat grill and remove salmon from marinade, but reserve the marinade. Place salmon on grill. Cover and grill on medium heat for 10- 20 minutes brushing with marinade. Cook until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Discard remaining marinade.

Cravings Fulfilled,


Sunday's Sermon

“There is no greater evidence of the infinite power and perfection of God’s love than is declared by the Apostle John: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son’ (John 3:16). Another Apostle wrote that God ‘spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all’ (Romans 8:32). Think how it must have grieved our Heavenly Father to send His Son to endure incomprehensible suffering for our sins. That is the greatest evidence of His love for each of us!”

Dallin H. Oaks, “Love and Law,” Ensign, Nov., 2009, 26


Refinishing Wood

Have you ever Refinished a piece of wood furniture?

Well, if you haven't, here are a couple of tips that I learned on my recent adventure...

1.) Get the right kind wood stripper. I tried two different kinds. After the first one didn't work, I decided to try another one. Believe me when I say that Citristrip is
WAY better than the others.

2.) Make sure you have warm weather. I was so anxious to get started that I started refinishing my bookshelf in 30 deg. weather. Didn't work. Make sure that it is above 50 deg. And just so you know, I found that if you have warm sun shinning on the Gel as it works, it works even better. So enjoy the Sun and have a party.

3.) It is really hard to get into the corners of bookshelves, etc. Make sure you have some toothpicks, skewers, or anything else small and sharp (but not too sharp as you don't want to scratch the wood).

4.) Use an electric sander. I did all of mine by hand. I could have had all the sanding done in 30 minutes if I had had one, but it took me a couple days instead.

Here was my first refinishing project:
Not too shabby!


Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

This one is a family favorite in our house.

And somewhat healthy too...


1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 lb. beef stir fry
5 tbsp. oil

½ c. beef broth
¼ c. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. carrot strips
2 c. broccoli flowerets
¼ tsp. red pepper, crushed, dried


In bowl stir cornstarch and soy sauce. Add beef to coat.

Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Drain, reserve marinade.

In large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper. Stir fry 2 minutes.

Remove with slotted spoon to large bowl. Add mushrooms to skillet. Stir fry 1 minute. Remove to bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add carrots and broccoli.

Stir fry 2 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add beef. Stir fry 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add broth and reserved marinade. Stir constantly bring to boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute.

Add vegetables. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated. Serve over rice.


Spring Cupcakes

I made these a while back for my daughters 3rd Birthday Party. There are endless possibilities of ways to arrange your cupcakes. Try it next time you bake up a batch.

Remember to use a little bit of color.


Colorful Clock

A couple of years ago I received a decorative clock.

Problem: It contained black and gold, and resembled a tire....not so decorative.

My Solution: Of coarse, what else but spray paint.

Oh, and a little black glaze for the finishing touch.

Drab to Fab...Right?!?

I love it....and it was free, simple and did I mention FREE! I already had everything in the cabinet.

I am linking up with the following amazing sites. Check out some great ideas by clicking on the boxes below...

The Shabby Chic Cottage

To your decorating,

Colorful Mama


Menu Planning Monday

Monday - French Bread Pizzas, Side Salad

Tuesday - Baked Swiss Chicken Casserole (Recipe Below)

Wednesday - Chicken Pillows with Rice and Green Beans

Thursday - Apple Chicken Walnut Salad with Homemade Rolls

Friday - Asian Salmon Patties, Rice Pilaf and Broccoli (Recipe Below)

Saturday - Leftovers or Eat Out

Sunday - Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Baked Swiss Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts (just depends on how big you chicken breast are)

6-8 slices Swiss cheese

1 c. Cooked Broccoli

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 c milk

1 box Stove Top Stuffing (or other similar boxed stuffing mix)

1/4 C butter melted

Pound chicken breast to even out the thickness of the chicken. Cut each breast in half.

Place chicken breasts in a sprayed 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Top chicken with slices of Swiss cheese.

Spread steamed Broccoli a top the chicken and cheese

In a bowl, mix soup and milk until well blended.

Pour soup mixture over chicken and broccoli.

Then top the chicken with the dry stuffing mix. Drizzle stuffing with melted butter.

Baked covered with foil at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5-10 minutes longer. Serves 6-8

Asian Salmon Patties

1-1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

In a large bowl, combine salmon, shallots, ginger, egg, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Form mixture into eight 1-inch-thick patties, packing each firmly; transfer to a plate. Place in freezer until just firm, about 20 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon patties; cook until browned on both sides and just opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes per side, turning carefully. Serve with lime wedges and Sesame Mayonnaise, if desired.

To make Sesame Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, and sesame oil. Chill until ready to serve.


Sunday's Sermon

"It is the parents who can give children the kind of love and security which can come from no other source. A child who understands who he is, and who has the kind of home where he feels wanted and loved, has no need to go wandering off to try to find his identity and to search for a happiness he will not find outside the so-called 'establishment.'

"The happiest people I know are those whose life-style centers around the home. Work is very important, and success in one's profession or business is also essential to happiness, but remember what we say so often: 'No other success can compensate for failure in the home.' "

N. Eldon Tanner, "Happiness Is Home Centered, Ensign," June 1978, 2


A New Beginning.

Over the years I have acquired one hobby after another. Each of which needs to be done on a very tight budget. Everything from Crafting, to Cooking, to Caking, to Constructing.

My new love is to Remodel. This also needs to be done on a dime. I am always looking for good deals on used furniture and decorations that I can thrift and make a better fit for my life.

I hope you all enjoy. Let me know if you have any suggestions, requests and especially leave your comments. I would love to hear from you all.